I hope everybody has had a nice Christmas holidays, I have enjoyed having a few days at home with my family. It has been really nice this year not to have exams in January so I have been able to enjoy the holidays more without having to worry about revision!
I did however have to work in between Christmas and New Year as this is quite a busy period for auditors because there are lots of stock counts at year-end! I even had to travel 3 hours away to Wales for one, which I’d say is definitely a down side to the job but the travelling is something I’m slowly getting used to!
I’ve been going to college/ having home study days a lot recently. I have passed my first four exams and I’m now preparing for my next two exams in March- Financial Accounting and Reporting and Audit and Assurance. A tip I’d give to anyone thinking about doing a placement year that involves doing the first year of the ACA exams is to apply for ‘provisional’ exemptions if you will be doing a module in your final year that would result in you receiving an exemption once you’ve graduated. This would save you having to sit the exam(s) in your placement year and then receiving the exemption when it’s no longer of any use to you! I only found out this was possible as I was studying for the Business and Finance exam and so it would have been useful for me to know this from the beginning!
I have made some great friends at PwC who I also socialise with outside of work. One day before Christmas we all went ice-skating and to an ice bar which was fun! We also had a work Christmas party in a hotel in Liverpool city centre, which I really enjoyed. We had a little PwC Awards ceremony and exchanged secret Santa presents- it was a really nice atmosphere and I got the chance to chat to people in the office that I didn’t know as well.
I’ve tried to be proactive at work by getting involved in as many of the activities outside of work as possible- something I’d encourage everybody to do. I was surprised to find out that PwC encourages us to take roughly 3 hours off usual work a month to get involved in volunteering/ fundraising activities. In November I visited a school in Middleton where I carried out mock interviews with GCSE students. I enjoyed this as it allowed me to do something different to Auditing one day and was really rewarding. I also recently attended a careers fair for Liverpool University Students where I represented PwC- sharing my knowledge of both the firm and the application process with students that were interested.
I have been able to apply lots of the theory that I learnt at University to my work. As part of my Audit module in my first year I learnt about the different stages of an audit, which has helped me to better understand some of the work I’ve done so far such as planning. At one of my clients I was responsible for determining the main risks facing the entity in the coming year and I think my prior knowledge really helped me with this task. The ratios and corresponding possible explanations that I covered as part of my Financial Statement Analysis module last year has really helped me when I’ve been asked to perform analytical procedures over a client’s trial balance. I have felt more confident in doing these types of activities than I’m sure I would have done if I hadn’t come from an Accounting background.
I’ve worked on a variety of clients so far in various industries such as Pharmaceuticals and Banking. Tasks I’ve carried out include things like assessing the appropriateness of the aging of debtors and testing whether inventory has been recorded at the lower of cost and NRV. Every day is different which is one of the things I like most about the job- it keeps things interesting and means I am learning every day.
While I was in the office one day I was visited by the Internship Manager Mike Woodrow who came to check I had settled in to the job well and see if there were any issues I would like to discuss. It was nice to see a familiar face from Uni and share my experience of the placement year so far. He also chatted to my Manager who confirmed that she was happy with my performance so far.
I have just begun the ‘busy period’ at work, which is the time (Jan-March) when most audits take place. I have been booked to clients in lots of different locations such as Blackburn, Wales, Stoke and Chester and so I expect it to be a hectic time! But I’m looking forward to the challenges it brings!